Alcohol poisoning is what happens to someone when
they’ve drunk a dangerous amount of alcohol, normally in a short
space of time.
Drinking too much alcohol stops the nervous system from working
properly, particularly in the brain. This can severely weaken the
mental and physical body functions, like sight, speech,
coordination and memory.
Alcohol poisoning can also send a person into deep
unresponsiveness and, at worst, can slow or even shut down their
breathing, causing death.
What to look for - Alcohol poisoning
If you think someone may have alcohol poisoning, these are the
key things to look for:
- • a strong smell of alcohol and you may see empty bottles or
- • confusion and slurred speech
- • vomiting
- • reddened and moist face
- • deep, noisy breathing
- • a strong, pounding pulse
- • unresponsiveness
If they are unresponsive, you also
need to look for:
- • shallow breathing
- • weak, rapid pulse
- • widened pupils that react poorly to light
What you need to do - Alcohol poisoning
• Reassure them and cover them with a coat or blanket to
keep them warm.
• Check them over for any injuries, especially head
injuries, or any other medical conditions.
• If they are breathing normally but are not fully
responsive, place them into the recovery
• Keep checking their breathing, level of response and
• Don’t make them be sick as this could block their airway
and stop them from breathing.
• If you’re unsure about how serious their condition is
then call 999 or 112 for medical help.
• If they lose responsiveness at any point, open their
airway, check their breathing and prepare to treat someone who’s